KC Royals: Questions abound for Spring Training 2.0

Kansas City Royals (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Kansas City Royals (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals
(Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images) /

The KC Royals resume their 2020 training camp workouts Friday. Several questions face the club in Spring Training 2.0.

KC Royals baseball, something seen only in television reruns for over three months, returns to Kauffman Stadium Friday when the club reopens spring training. This long-awaited resumption of the game’s annual rite of preparation–now almost universally referred to as Spring Training 2.0–marks the beginning of three weeks of searching for answers to the abundance of personnel questions left unresolved when COVID-19 shut down camps in mid-March.

Those unanswered questions, and more raised by the historic and unfortunate pandemic-forced baseball hiatus, must be addressed by new Kansas City manager Mike Matheny, his coaching staff and general manager Dayton Moore and other key members of the club’s front office before the club’s late July Opening Day.

Will Salvador Perez, returning after missing 2019 following Tommy John surgery, and Adalberto Mondesi, working his way back from two shoulder injuries and offseason surgery, be ready for Opening Day?

Will Ryan O’Hearn keep his first base job, lose it to Ryan McBroom, or will the two Ryans platoon?

Are Whit Merrifield and Hunter Dozier ready to begin a new, albeit shorter, season in their new positions in the Royals’ outfield?

Can Bubba Starling win an outfield reserve job? What about Brett Phillips? Will Starling and Phillips both win outfield reserve jobs? If they don’t, who will?

Who will be the fifth member of Kansas City’s starting rotation? Will Greg Holland land a spot on the active roster? What will the bullpen look like, and will it be stronger than in the recent past?

The Royals named their 60-man Player Pool Sunday. Who among those players are most likely to contribute this season?

Such are the main questions Matheny and the rest of the Royal personnel brain trust need to answer. Let’s take a closer look at the questions and issues and confronting them.